78-year-old Brenda Lee has a new milestone to celebrate.
For the first time in her decades-long career, the Rock and Roll Hall and Country Music Hall of Famer's signature hit "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart -- 65 years after the song's debut.
When Lee bested Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" to take the top spot, her hit "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" became just the third holiday song to ever hit No.1 on the Hot 100.
"I wanted to do it, and we did," said Lee, who remembers she was 10 or 12 years old when she heard "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" for the first time. "It just came out every year and became what it was. The people were great. They went out, they bought it, they embraced it. Radio embraced it, and 'Home Alone,' of course, didn't hurt it at all. And it's just been a magical time in my life."
Lee recently rereleased the song for its 65th anniversary and filmed a new video to go with it - alongside Trisha Yearwood and Tanya Tucker.
"Trisha and Tanya are my buds," Lee said. "They're always up for anything we ask each other. If one of them asks me to do something, I'll do it. If I ask one of them, they'll do it. So, I just thought it would be cool to have them on it. And their tenure in the industry speaks for itself, as does the song 'Rockin'. So I was just very honored that they saw fit to do it."
Lee released "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" in 1958. Johnny Marks, who Lee points out was Jewish, wrote the song, which made its way onto the radio airplay charts two years after the singer released it, landing at No. 14.
In 2023, her Christmas staple became Lee's third No. 1 hit. The accomplishment means she holds the record for the longest gap between an artist's first and most recent week at No.1 on the Hot 100. Her first No.1, "I'm Sorry," became a hit in 1960, 63 years ago. At almost 79 years old, Lee is also the oldest woman to top the Hot 100.
"This is amazing!" Lee said in a statement. "I cannot believe that 'Rockin" has hit No. 1 65 years after it was released; this is just so special! Thank you to the team at UMG/UMe, who worked so hard to celebrate the song's anniversary this year. But most importantly, thank you to the fans who keep listening. The song came out when I was a young teenager, and now to know that it has resonated with multiple generations and continues to resonate – it is one of the best gifts I have ever received. Keep on Rockin' and Merry Christmas!"
- Maddie & Tae, Lauren Alaina, Brett Young and More Added To Voices Of America Country Music Fest LineupThe four-day concert is set for Thursday, Aug. 8 - Sunday, Aug. 11, 2024, at Voice of America MetroPark in West Chester, Ohio, near Cincinnati.02/23/2024
- CMT Roundup: New Music From Kenny Chesney, Camille Parker, Kameron Marlowe and moreHear the newest in country music on CMT's playlist The Roundup.02/23/2024
- Dolly Parton Rallies Famous Friends, Dogs In Dresses and Hit Songs For a Night of Fashion and FunDolly Parton: "I think right now, everything is so dark and everything is so hateful. I thought it would be fun to do something fun and uplifting."02/21/2024
- Tigirlily Gold Talks Breakups, Moving On and CMT's Next Women of CountryThe sister duo said their new single "I Tried A Ring On" is "all about just that frustrating part of having to start over again."02/20/2024
- CMT Roundup: New Music From Brian Kelley, Lainey Wilson, Matt Stell And MoreTo hear the most exciting new releases in country music, see CMT's Roundup playlist.02/16/2024
- Beyoncé Releases Country Songs, But Will Country Radio Play Them?"Texas Hold' Em" and "16 Carriages" are from Beyoncé's upcoming album "Renaissance Act II" that will be available March 29.02/15/2024